Engler: State Needs Broader Authority to Oversee Blue Cross Blue Shield;Goal must be Affordable Health Insurance

Contact: Susan Shafer (517) 335-6397

September 14, 2001


Governor Engler announced today that he will be asking the Michigan Legislature to approve legislation giving the Commissioner of the Office of Financial and Insurance Services (OFIS), Frank Fitzgerald, additional authority to oversee nonprofit health care organizations like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM). An audit just released by OFIS has raised warning flags concerning financial trouble in the future for BSCSM.


"I have met with Commissioner Fitzgerald and share his concerns regarding the financial future of Blue Cross," said Governor Engler. "The financial warnings in the audit are disturbing news to me and to every Michigan family."


Governor Engler noted that the state’s goal is to make health insurance more affordable for working families. The audit revealed that the shaky financial prospects of BCBSM raise the likelihood of substantial premium increases.


"We must act to make sure that Michigan families can continue to have access to affordable health insurance," said Governor Engler. "Acting responsibly today will prevent a crisis tomorrow."



Click here for more information and the complete audit of BCBSM.